Tokyo Music Showcase: Taoyame Orquesta
Taoyame Orquesta [sic] is a big band. Seventeen people big. (Maybe more, I had trouble counting from the crowd, more on that later.) Also Big Band in the music sense. An all female troupe, I went to see them because one of my students is a member. Personally, I thought the show was great. Powerful energy and soulful singing with even a bit of comedy thrown in to the mix. I wish I had more footage of the band but the venue doesn’t allow cameras or photos or fun.
Well maybe not the last one, but the dude running the swag table was a little more gruff telling me to stop than he needed to be. Kind of killed the mood.
Which leads me into the worst part, the venue. In a word, sucked. In a few more words, to be fair it only was terrible because of massive overcrowding. See, my student’s band was part of a two band set. The other being Gentle Forest Jazz Band. It would seem the leader of this band is also a bit of a TV star so lots of people came out to see them. The club is a small place called “Loop” in Daikanyama. The set up is one large empty space in front of the stage and two narrow staircases along the sides leading to the bar and bathroom area. Problem is the walls along these hallways are low. So people can stand next to them and watch the show. They are only about a person-width wide to begin with. Cue subway level congestion when trying to get anywhere in the place.
It didn’t help that pretty much half the fan base that showed up were tall hipster dudes in hats. So seeing the stage from my place in the back was tough. Next to the swag table taking up a tenth of the available space.
Long story short, venue fail. I left after my student’s band finished their set, which was excellent. Some of the songs felt straight out of a Bond movie or a 60s gangster hot spot. Very cool and I will certainly try and catch another show. Just hopefully in a place that doesn’t make me want to chew my foot off to escape.
I really need a better camera.